There’s a new kid on the block in the Paleo cookbook world! Check out this interview with The Paleo Parents, author of Eat Like a Dinosaur: Recipe & guide book for gluten-free kids, available for pre-orders on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
And… The Paleo Parents have GENEROUSLY offered up a softcover copy of Eat Like a Dinosaur to one lucky reader here! See details to enter to win at the end of this post!
1. How has going paleo changed your family?
How hasn’t it?! When Stacy first started Paleo, our combined weight was greater than 570 pounds. That’s more than a quarter ton! We we’re feeling lethargic, depressed and suffered from a thousand tiny health pinpricks that most people just accept as a matter of course. Matt had pretty crippling ADHD, seasonal and pet allergies and early high cholesterol. Stacy had had her gallbladder out and suffered IBS-like symptoms and had an unexplained extremely high white blood cell count. Also, having just had our third baby, we were expecting another extended bout of postpartum depression.
Meanwhile, we had three kids who were on their way to obese adulthood as well. Cole, five years old at the time, was already in the obese range of the BMI chart and Finian, two years old at the time, was quickly moving to join him. In addition, Cole had such a deficit in self-control that our liberal co-op preschool was threatening to expel him. Finn was also showing signs of ADHD and self-control issues even at his young age. Not only that, but Cole had to use a daily inhaler for his asthma and they both suffered from eczema and digestive issues.
Once we went Paleo, the first thing we saw was an increase in energy, vigor and happiness; first in Stacy, then in Matt after he joined in. Then we quickly started shrinking before our very eyes. The weight was melting off with no effort at all. Matt’s allergies stopped and he stopped medicating for them and he found his ADHD much easier to control. Stacy’s digestive issues and heartburn almost immediately resolved themselves. Four months in at our next check ups, we saw our cholesterol improve, blood pressure go down and the serious white blood cell count issue Stacy had disappeared (we now suspect this was an indicator of Celiac disease).
The boys’ weights stayed steady as they started growing up and not out. Cole went from being the “problem child” on the verge of expulsion to being the best behaved child in his Kindergarten class. Finn started being able to pay attention in his preschool and everyone was just filled with exuberance and a now has a renewed joy for life!
2. What’s the biggest misconception parents have about raising paleo kids?
That it’s impossible. The amount of justifications we hear on our site and facebook page are insane. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, you’ll need to reshape your children’s thinking, palate and come up with a transition plan. But our kids now beg us for kale, black olives and meat – they want to be healthy and strong, they just need you to show them how.
We also get a lot of questions about specific nutrients, often because that’s the concern their doctors bring up. Where do you get your calcium? Where do you get your fiber? Don’t you need carbs? We’re not nutritionists or pediatricians, but there’s great information out there from Robb Wolf, Chris Kresser and you about how paleo offers a more nutrient dense diet that is easily absorbed than the recommended standard diet. We have no issues with calcium, fiber, or any other micronutrient. And we have plenty of carbs to eat for our active kids! Just ask Wesley, as he reaches for another sweet potato!
3. What’s been your greatest reward in removing grains, legumes and dairy from your family’s diet?
The best thing Paleo has done for us, though, is bring us closer as a family. We now are always playing together, bonding together, cooking together. With our renewed energy, we want to do these things and have fun, playful, outdoor adventures. We’ve saved ourselves from not enjoying these precious childhood years that never come back. That’s what we’re most thankful for. Not to mention, who knows how many years we’ve added to our lives by losing over 200lbs and saving our health. I look forward to one day playing with my great-grand-children!
4. Why did you want to write Eat Like a Dinosaur for families?
Cole was definitely our inspiration! In fact, he’s kind of the main character in the illustrated story inside the book. Once Cole started bringing in his own snacks and lunches to school, we realized how different he must look to his teachers and friends. He started feeling a little self-conscious about his food and what others might think. We used our site and book to teach the techniques we use, the tips & tricks, to make eating differently a positive thing – fun and exciting, rather than exclusionary and sad.
We thought it was important for parents to realize the changes they can effect in the lives of their children, and for children to realize that it’s okay. In fact, eating like a dinosaur is cool! Especially for children with allergies and intolerances, the road can be bumpy. Eat Like a Dinosaur will be a tool for families to use not only the 100 recipes and projects together, but will hopefully also teach them how to approach a real foods lifestyle in a positive way.
5. What’s the best advice you have to families who are just learning to make changes?
Be understanding of what your kids are going through. You are asking a lot of them, switching over their food so drastically. They will resist; they may even conspire to “spoil” their diet behind your back. And that’s because it’s what you taught them for the entirety of their life so far. It’ll take time and effort to change that. And the best thing you can do is be a role model so that they feel a part of a team.
You are telling them that they no longer eat cake or candy or ice cream or cookies or ice cream when all their friends do it right in front of them. That’s hard, especially for a kid whose whole world is based on fitting in with their peers. You will have an easier time if you take time out to explain to them, reason with them, even make concessions with them, than to unilaterally decide what they shall eat. Help them understand, give them a little bit of control over choices they can make, keep only unprocessed, healthy foods in the home, point out when their body reacts positively and negatively to foods they’ve eaten, and eventually they’ll happily walk down the right path with you!
Check out this video preview of Eat Like a Dinosaur:
TO ENTER THE EAT LIKE A DINOSAUR BOOK GIVEAWAY:
Do the following, then come back here and add a comment letting me know which you did!
NOTE: Only one comment per person will count as an entry. Posting more than one comment will disqualify you from the contest, so please just post once! Thanks!!
1. Like the Paleo Parents and Balanced Bites Facebook pages.
2. Follow Paleo Parents (@paleoparents) and Balanced Bites on Twitter.
3. Subscribe via email to the Balanced Bites newsletter/blog updates.
Then add a comment below about which you completed! That’s it! No purchase necessary.
Note: This contest will be open through midnight Eastern time on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 and ONE WINNER will be selected using random.org and announced here on the blog, via Facebook and on Twitter. If you do not email me to claim your prize within 48 hours of the announcement, a new winner will be selected in your place.